Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has his temperature checked during a diplomatic meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced an increase in the death toll from the Lassa fever outbreak.

The agency recorded that 173 persons have died from Lassa fever, stating that it represents a Case Fatality Rate (CFR), of 18.9 percent.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Abuja, while giving an update of on the Lassa fever outbreak that amidst the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, the agency has continued to manage a national Lassa fever outbreak.

He said that in week 12, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 51 cases in week 11, to 28 cases.

The NCDC DG said that these were reported cases in 12 states, Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Taraba, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, FCT, Benue, and Gombe.

“In total for 2020, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 Local Government Areas.

“Of all confirmed cases, 72 percent are from three states, which are Edo, with  33 percent, Ondo with 32 percent and Ebonyi with seven percent.

“The predominant age-group affected is 21 to 30 years, range: from one to 78 years, Median Age: 33 years. The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1.2,” he explained.

Ihekweazu said that the number of suspected cases had significantly increased compared to those reported for the same period in 2019.

”With joy that there were no healthcare workers affected in the reporting week 12,” he said.

The NCDC DG said the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) had been activated to coordinate response activities across states.

According to him, the five molecular laboratories for Lassa fever testing in the NCDC network are working full capacity to ensure that all samples are tested and results provided within the shortest turnaround time.

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